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Morning Spew

Eric Adams Isn’t Dodging the Press, He’s Just Really, Really Busy, OK?

These remarks aren't going to deliver themselves.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams delivers remarks at the Africa-America Institute’s 70th Anniversary Gala. Cipriani, 110 East 42nd Street, New York, NY. Tuesday, September 19, 2023.
(Benny Polatseck / Mayoral Photography Office)

OK, we'll admit it: When we first heard the news that Mayor Eric Adams will only be taking "off-topic" questions from the press once a week—that is, questions that don't pertain to the specific event the mayor is attending or the topic he's holding a press conference on—we were angry and confused. We weren't alone among members of the local press cinematic universe in feeling that way. The New York Post called Adams's new policy, which he announced Monday, "bizarrely restrictive." One of Bill de Blasio's former press secretaries told Politico he believed "the Adams administration is essentially tying an arm and a leg behind its back" by limiting media access to the mayor.

Critics of the new policy noted that other mayors, like Ed Koch or Michael Bloomberg, regularly made themselves available to journalists for questions. Even Bill de Blasio, who caught flack from the press after implementing a similar policy as mayor, still made himself available for questioning a few times a week with regular appearances on NY1 and WNYC. The prospect of a mayor who isn't willing to display that level of accountability is disturbing.

But the truth is, the mayor is just extremely busy doing all of the other important things that are a part of his job. Cut him some slack—he's only one man! There's probably a very important flag-raising ceremony he needs to get to, after all.

Take, for instance, the fact that the mayor announced this new policy on the first day of a two-day "fentanyl summit"—a tremendous feat of multitasking, the kind we can't possibly expect on a regular basis from the man in charge of the most populous city in the country. A video posted to the mayor's official Instagram account yesterday put his packed schedule on full display. 

In the space of a single week, Adams was hard at work "getting stuff done" for the people of New York by "delivering remarks" at events like the Latin African American Chaplains Association Anniversary Gala and the 28th annual Mahatma Gandhi Peace March, yelling "mi casa, su casa, I love you" at a crowd celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, and thanking the City workers who saved that woman from a shark attack this summer. You think a politician with all of that on his plate could possibly take the time to answer any silly little questions about, say, asylum seekers, or emergency preparedness, or the utter lack of accountability for the cops who killed Kawaski Trawick, or his "tired demeanor" after a birthday fundraiser, or the general state of things in New York City? Obviously not!

"No mayor in the history of this city has been more accessible, more approachable, more on the ground than I have," Adams reminded us, the ungrateful press, after he made his off-topics announcement. And he's right: If we want it badly enough, all New York journalists have to do to get a slice of our mayor's precious, precious time is stop an animal attack or throw a parade. Or we can just wait until later today, when Adams holds his first weekly conference where we get to ask him anything we want.

Some links we weren't too busy to read: 

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